Once Upon a Honeymoon
|Once Upon a Honeymoon|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Leo McCarey
James Anderson (assistant)
|Produced by||Leo McCarey (uncredited)|
|Screenplay by||Sheridan Gibney|
|Story by||Sheridan Gibney
|Music by||Robert Emmett Dolan|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
|November 27, 1942|
|Box office||$2.6 million (US rentals)|
Once Upon a Honeymoon is a 1942 romantic comedy/drama starring Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and Walter Slezak, directed by Leo McCarey, and released by RKO Radio Pictures. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound Recording (Stephen Dunn).
In the days leading up to World War II, Katie O'Hara (Ginger Rogers), an American burlesque performer masquerading as American socialite "Katherine Butt-Smith", pronounced byüt-smith, is about to marry Austrian Baron Von Luber (Walter Slezak). Foreign correspondent Pat O'Toole (Cary Grant) suspects Von Luber of being a Nazi sympathizer and tries unsuccessfully to get information from Katie by deceit, but is warned off by Von Luber.
Undaunted, O'Toole follows the couple to Prague, where O'Hara and Von Luber marry. After the annexation of Czechoslovakia by Germany, the Von Lubers travel to Warsaw, where the baron sells arms to Polish General Borelski (Albert Bassermann). O'Toole warns the General of the dangers of trusting in Von Luber. When the General tries the weapons he finds out he has been sold duds and plans to notify his government. When the Germans invade Poland, the weapons prove to be defective. Von Luber is arrested on suspicion but warns his young bride not to worry because no one will be able to bear witness against him. Soon after, the General is assassinated along with a young Nazi the Baron has chosen to sacrifice. While the Baron is in jail O'Hara and O'Toole decide to flee the country. However, O'Hara has given her passport to her Jewish maid Anna, so that the woman and her two children may escape the country. O'Hara and O'Toole escape to Norway, Holland and Belgium (all of which subsequently fall to the Germans) and then to Paris all at the hand of Von Luber.
In Paris, O'Hara and O'Toole go to have new passports made. They meet Gaston Le Blanc (Albert Dekker), an American counterintelligence agent posing as a photographer. LeBlanc persuades O'Hara to return to the Baron and work as a spy. Von Luber becomes suspicious due to O'Hara's persistent questioning. O'Toole agrees to broadcast pro-Nazi propaganda after the Baron threatens to turn O'Hara over to the Gestapo. O'Toole is then contacted by American counterintelligence who ask him to accept the offer and betray the Baron. When O'Hara is found with LeBlanc, who is shot by two Nazi agents, she is placed under house arrest. Anna finds her in the hotel and aids in her escape. O'Toole goes on the air, but after O'Hara shows up at the studio, he cleverly manages to make it look as if the baron is trying to overthrow Hitler. Von Luber is arrested, and Pat and Katie sneak away.
They board a ship for America, but Katie later runs into Von Luber on board; the baron was able to talk his way out of his troubles. Now he is on his way to the United States to continue his subversive activities. They struggle and Von Luber falls overboard. O'Hara tells O'Toole and hesitantly he agrees to tell the Captain. The Captain turns the ship around to search for Von Luber, but when O'Hara says that Von Luber cannot swim, the Captain happily turns the ship back towards America.
Cary Grant ... Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole
Ginger Rogers ... Kathie O'Hara / Katherine Butt-Smith / Baroness Katherine Von Luber
Walter Slezak ... Baron Franz Von Luber
Albert Dekker ... Gaston Le Blanc
Albert Bassermann ... General Borelski
Ferike Boros ... Elsa
John Banner... German Capt. Von Kleinoch
Harry Shannon ... Ed Cumberland
Natasha Lytess ... Anna
Once Upon a Honeymoon was Walter Slezak's first American film.
The film was a hit, earning RKO a profit of $282,000.
- "101 Pix Gross in Millions" Variety 6 Jan 1943 p 58
- "The 15th Academy Awards (1943) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
- Richard B. Jewell, Slow Fade to Black: The Decline of RKO Radio Pictures, Uni of California, 2016